2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Limited
DETROIT – Ford Motor Company is revamping its core product line, relying on new software and related data metrics to boost profits in its commercial vehicle business.
The Detroit-based automaker on Tuesday unveiled its 2023 F-Series Super Duty trucks, a line of vehicles from large pickups to commercial trucks and cab chassis used for emergency response, towing and plowing, as well as construction and utility work.
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The vehicles, which are part of Ford’s best-selling F-Series truck line, are high-margin vehicles that are key to retaining fleet customers and an important part of Ford’s plans to grow its commercial business.
“They’re very important. Super Duty is the size of Southwest Airlines, Marriott or Nordstrom’s revenue. It’s a significant part of the business,” Ted Kanis, CEO of Ford Pro, told CNBC. “And now we’re bringing them into the digital age.”
Cannis declined to disclose revenue from Ford’s Super Duty line, but Southwest, Marriott and Nordstrom recently reported annual revenue between $14 billion and $16 billion. In 2021, Ford’s total revenue was over $136 billion.
Super Duty trucks account for more than 50% of the utility, mining, construction and emergency vehicle market, according to Ford, citing data from S&P Global Mobility.
The design of the new trucks is noticeably different on the outside, with redesigned C-clamp headlamps and larger grilles. But the most important changes for Ford are not visible to the naked eye, including new electrical architectures or car brains. The updates will give Ford the ability to introduce new software, telematics data and fleet management tools, Cannis said.
2023 Ford Super Duty F-550 Chassis Cab
The software will help businesses track maintenance needs, vehicle location, driver behavior, lost idle time and other metrics. Fleet operators can also set operating hours that prevent vehicles from starting outside of approved hours.
Such services are seen as a key opportunity for Ford to generate regular revenue throughout the life cycle of vehicles – something automakers such as Ford have been unable to achieve beyond regular maintenance and repairs through franchised dealers.
Ford Pro’s mission is to act as a one-stop shop for the cars and the driving software that companies use to control them, Kanis said, laying the foundation for a subscription-based business and additional ongoing revenue opportunities for Ford. which have historically been the domain of third-party companies.
Connectivity features are provided by a built-in 5G network – a first for a pickup truck in the US – using AT&T service and a Qualcomm modem.
2023 Ford Super Duty F-350 Limited
“We’re focused on maximizing performance, maximizing profits for businesses of all sizes,” said Raj Sarkar, Ford Pro’s general manager of marketing and product strategy, during a media briefing.
Ford Pro is one of the company’s three main focus areas under CEO Jim Farley’s Ford+ restructuring plan, which targets growth and value creation in all three segments in the coming years.
The Super Duty trucks also feature new interiors, as well as other trailering and towing upgrades – both important to big truck owners. New features include Trailer Navigation, which maps out routes that can be safely driven based on the dimensions and weight of the trailer to avoid potential problems with low axles and sharp turns, and a second backup camera that can be used when the truck’s tailgate turned off. down.
Although Ford is investing billions in electric vehicles, the new trucks are powered by one of four V-8 gasoline or diesel engines. Large trucks like the Ford Super Duty are expected to run on traditional engines for the foreseeable future.
The 2023 F-Series Super Duty is built at Ford’s Kentucky and Ohio assembly plants. Pricing will be available closer to launch in early 2023. Starting prices for cars currently range from about $40,000 to nearly $100,000.
Ford unveiled its new Super Duty lineup a day after rival General Motors announced an update to its 2024 Chevrolet Heavy-Duty pickup, which is due to go into production in the first half of next year.
2023 Ford Super Duty F-250 XL STX